Where's the Markdown?



  • This is a (mostly) smart community of programmers.  How many people would agree with me that a plain-text writing system like Markdown beats this lousy semi-WYSIWYG editor for nearly all of our needs? 



  • That actually looks incredably painful to use, judging from its syntax page.



  • Marked down this:

    
    1. foo
    2. bar
    
    - this
    - that
    

    Which produced this:

    
    <ol>
    <li>foo</li>
    <li><p>bar</p></li>
    <li><p>this</p></li>
    <li>that</li>
    </ol>
    

    Instead of what's promised in the syntax manual:

    
    <ol><li>foo</li><li>bar</li></ol>
    <ul><li>this</li><li>that</li></ul>
    


  • to get an accurat assesment, you need to also ask how many people disagree.

    PS.  this editor works great for me. 



  • @djork said:

    This is a (mostly) smart community of programmers.  How many people would agree with me that a plain-text writing system like Markdown beats this lousy semi-WYSIWYG editor for nearly all of our needs? 

     

    I agree 



  • @JvdL said:

    Marked down this:

    1. foo
    2. bar
    
    - this
    - that
    

    That's actually detailed in the manual. Refer to the part about lists with paragraphs, and the fact that the type of list is determined by the first bullet. The format of subsequent bullets are ignored.

    For example:

    * foo
    1. bar
    - bat
    * baz
    

    Translates to:

    <ul>
    <li>foo</li>
    <li>bar</li>
    <li>bat</li>
    <li>baz</li>
    </ul>
    


  • @Hitsuji said:

    That actually looks incredably painful to use, judging from its syntax page.

    I was a little scared by the syntax too... but then I started using it to write things (especially about code), and it made a lot more sense. It does a lot of useful things that I can appreciate when writing about programming.



  •  @djork said:

    @JvdL said:
    Marked down this:

    1. foo
    2. bar

    - this
    - that

    That's actually detailed in the manual. Refer to the part about lists with paragraphs, and the fact that the type of list is determined by the first bullet. The format of subsequent bullets are ignored.

    Without intention and without spending any time, the very first thing marked down had a counter-intuitive conversion. I usually immediately trash software that requires RTFM, but alright.

    The manual states, first and foremost "A paragraph is simply one or more consecutive lines of text, separated by one or more blank lines." That sounds like a clear definition. You are right, several pages down on it says, "If list items are separated by blank lines, Markdown will wrap the items in <p> tags in the HTML output." That rule contradicts the first and in fact, the actual conversion of the example shows that the first rule is not true. The entire FM can be summarized in one sentence:

     "A paragraph sometimes is one or more lines of text, separated by one or more blank lines, but sometimes not because of other heuristics rules; some of which may be documented and others not and I'm not gonna tell you what those rules are, RTF source code, and I will change the rules every other new version release because I'm too lazy too figure out decent precedence constraints, I find all that regex stuff difficult enough without it"

    That said, nothing beats the community server (in uselessness)



  • The discussed limitation makes Markdown pretty useless IMO, since it's not uncommon for me to write lists like

    1. Order food
     - Spagetti
     - Tiramisu
    2. Have fun
     - video games
     - cinema



  • @ammoQ said:

    The discussed limitation makes Markdown pretty useless IMO, since it's not uncommon for me to write lists like

    1. Order food
     - Spagetti
     - Tiramisu
    2. Have fun
     - video games
     - cinema

    Not too sure what the perceived problem is - using their own translator, it seems to come out pretty much as I'd expect it to:

     

    1. Order food
      • Spagetti
      • Tiramisu
    2. Have fun
      • video games
      • cinema



  • @ammoQ said:

    The discussed limitation makes Markdown pretty useless IMO, since it's not uncommon for me to write lists like

    1. Order food
     - Spagetti
     - Tiramisu
    2. Have fun
     - video games
     - cinema

     

    OK, let's give that a try :)

    The source:

    1. Order food
      - Spagetti
      - Tiramisu
    2. Have fun
      - video games
      - cinema
    

    Produces the list:

    1. Order food
      • Spagetti
      • Tiramisu
    2. Have fun
      • video games
      • cinema

    This post is brought to you by the letter A, the Dingus, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.



  • @djork said:

    This is a (mostly) smart community of programmers.  How many people would agree with me that a plain-text writing system like Markdown beats this lousy semi-WYSIWYG editor for nearly all of our needs? 

     

    Perhaps those of us who understand that Alex's choice of forum software is none of our f***ing  business don't agree.

    Seriously, people... If I got paid a penny for every dumbass who posted crap like this here, I could retire early. Get a friggin' life, will ya? There HAS to be something more important in your lives than complaining about the forum software! Doesn't there? I mean, if the forum editor bothers you so much, QUIT FRIGGIN' POSTING!



  • @djork said:

    This is a (mostly) smart community of programmers.  How many people would agree with me that a plain-text writing system like Markdown beats this lousy semi-WYSIWYG editor for nearly all of our needs?
     

    I'm not a fan of the WYSIWYG editor, but I don't think it would be a good idea to use Markdown just because otherwise anyone who wants to post here has to learn a new syntax (if they don't already know it, which is likely).



  •  @PhillS said:

    @djork said:

    This is a (mostly) smart community of programmers.  How many people would agree with me that a plain-text writing system like Markdown beats this lousy semi-WYSIWYG editor for nearly all of our needs?
     

    I'm not a fan of the WYSIWYG editor, but I don't think it would be a good idea to use Markdown just because otherwise anyone who wants to post here has to learn a new syntax (if they don't already know it, which is likely).

    I'd reckon that 90% of posts wouldn't even use Markdown syntax, aside from breaking up paragraphs.



  • @KenW said:

    @djork said:

    This is a (mostly) smart community of programmers.  How many people would agree with me that a plain-text writing system like Markdown beats this lousy semi-WYSIWYG editor for nearly all of our needs? 

     

    Perhaps those of us who understand that Alex's choice of forum software is none of our f***ing  business don't agree.

    Seriously, people... If I got paid a penny for every dumbass who posted crap like this here, I could retire early.

    I think that people can recognize that Alex is free to choose whatever he wants for his own forum [i]and[/i] that other systems may be better writing tools for techies.  Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive.  All I'm asking is for people to [i]think[/i] about the alternatives.

    What kind of [i]community[/i] discourages people to think and voice an opinion? 



  •  @PJH said:

    Not too sure what the perceived problem is - using their own translator, it seems to come out pretty much as I'd expect it to:

    OK, I should have actually tried that before complaining ;-) 

    The spaces before the inner list make it work as expected.




  • Anyone put this in the hands of a child to see what they think of it? After all, it should be easy enough for a child to make a decent opinion.

    oh and try:

    Boobs for all
    ---

    1. Boob
    2. Boob
     - Boob
     - Boob
      1. Boob
      2. Boob           
       - Boob
     - Boob
    3. Boob

    *   Boob
        * Boob
    *   Boob
        1.  Boob
        2.  Boob
            * Boob
        3. Boob
    *   Boob

     Output:

    Boobs for all    <-------        <h2> instead of text followed by <hr />

    1. Boob
    2. Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob          <----- Not nesting Correctly
      • Boob
      • Boob
    3. Boob                        <--- produces a <p> when I wanted a New list

    4. Boob                    <---- Produces a <p> when i wanted a New List

      • Boob
    5. Boob
      1. Boob 
      2. Boob           <-----Nesting Correctly
        • Boob
      3. Boob
    6. Boob 


  • I can spot the errors right away. First is that an "underlined" line of text is considered a heading.
    That much is right there in the margin of the dingus for you. So your --- should have empty lines
    around it. Second: try indenting lists with at least two spaces, as indicated in the examples on the
    side. Third: you have to break up lists with something other than whitespace. I can't really think of any situation where I'd want to follow a list immediately with another list, but eh... maybe this is a real deal breaker for you...?

    So, with that in mind, let's reformat this example. I think the source comes out looking much nicer and more readable with proper formatting.

    Source:

    Boobs for all

    ---

    A list.

    1. Boob
    2. Boob
    - Boob
    - Boob
    1. Boob
    2. Boob
    - Boob
    - Boob
    3. Boob

    Another list.

    * Boob
    * Boob
    * Boob
    1. Boob
    2. Boob
    * Boob
    3. Boob
    * Boob

    Result:

    Boobs for all


    A list.

    1. Boob
    2. Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
    3. Boob

    Another list.

    • Boob
      • Boob
    • Boob
      1. Boob
      2. Boob
      3. Boob
      4. Boob
    • Boob


  • Input:

    I want an _underline_ and *bold*, not *italics*, why is **bold** like that?
    

    output:

    <p>I want an <em>underline</em> and <em>bold</em>, not <em>italics</em>, why is <strong>bold</strong> like that?</p>

    I want an underline and bold, not italics, why is bold like that?



    • the funny
      •  thing
    • is that,
    1. with the wysiwig
      1. editor
        1. I get exactly
      2. What
    2. I want to get...
    1. withou having
    1. to worry about the syntax...
                  1. because
                  2. it all
                1. just
              1. works
            1. the
          1. way
        1. it
      1. should.
    2. even
      • this
        • works
        • really well
        1. do
        2. you see what
          • I mean.

    I did all of that without having to learn any syntax or anything.    Any you might think that:

     

    1. Boob
    2. Boob

      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
      • Boob
    3. Boob

    Another list.

    • Boob
      • Boob
    • Boob
      1. Boob
      2. Boob
      3. Boob
      4. Boob
    • Boob

    is more readable than:


    1. Boob
    2. Boob
    - Boob
    - Boob
    1. Boob
    2. Boob
    - Boob
    - Boob
    3. Boob

    Another list.

    * Boob
    * Boob
    * Boob
    1. Boob
    2. Boob
    * Boob
    3. Boob
    * Boob
     
    but the problem is that is is simply wrong.  The structure is gone. 


  • @Lingerance said:

    Input:

    I want an _underline_ and *bold*, not *italics*, why is **bold** like that?
    
    output:

    <p>I want an <em>underline</em> and <em>bold</em>, not <em>italics</em>, why is <strong>bold</strong> like that?</p>

    I want an underline and bold, not italics, why is bold like that?

     

    Because the degree of emphasis implied by font weights is apparently italic first and bold second. Underlining in (English) writing was traditionally reserved for marking up text that should be italic, but when there is no italic typeface available (on a typewriter, for instance). What would underlining be used for nowadays?



  • @djork said:

    What would underlining be used for nowadays?
    A book title?



  • Edit time out, also it is generally accepted that emboldens and underlines.



  •  @Lingerance said:

    @djork said:
    What would underlining be used for nowadays?
    A book title?

    No, not anymore.  Virtually all style guides recommend using italics wherever possible.  Check it out.

    <font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif" size="3">Using Italics and underlining in APA style</font></font>

    <font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">


    <font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif" size="-1">APA style
    recommends the use of italics, rather than underlining, for certain
    elements (e.g., book and journal titles). Use underlining only if your
    instructor requires it or if your word-processing program can't produce
    italics. However, the use of underlining to represent italics becomes a
    problem when you compose texts for online publication. On the World
    Wide Web, underlining in a document indicates that the underlined word
    or phrase is an active hypertext link. (All HTML editing programs
    automatically underline any text linked to another hypertext or Web
    site.)
    </font>


    <font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif" size="-1">When composing Web
    documents, avoid underlining. Instead, use italics for titles, for
    emphasis, and for words, letters, and numbers referred to as such. When
    you write with programs such as email that don’t allow italics, type an
    underscore mark like this before and after text you would otherwise
    italicize or underline.</font>

    </font>

     



  • @djork said:

    No, not anymore.  Virtually all style guides recommend using italics wherever possible.

    Underlining was never the right thing to do. As Knuth noted about 30 years ago, underlining is a fundamentally braindamaged concept that has always been despised by formal typographers. You will almost never find underlining in a printed book. You won't even find any mention of it in older style guides, because the people who wrote them never even considered it possible that somebody could think underlining was a sane thing to do.

    Unfortunately, WYSIWYG editors allowed a bunch of idiots to become typesetters, and insanity temporarily took over the world.

    The history of underlining is that it was a substitute for italics on typewriters which didn't have an italic font available - the typist would underscore the text, indicating to the typesetter that, when set for printing, this word should be set in italic. It's the wrong thing to use because there's just no sane way to render it: it either splats over the characters, or you have to leave an unreasonably large amount of leading between the text in the entire document to make room for it in the places where you need it, and it tends to make under-macrons invisible.



  • just because you don't want to use underlining, doesn't mean that the syntax shouldn't allow for it.   Why would it make things that I obviously want underlined italic?  I don't want it guessing what would be better than underline.



  • @djork said:

    What kind of community discourages people to think and voice an opinion? 
     

    Pretty much every online community, now that I'm thinking about it... 



  • @tster said:

    just because you don't want to use underlining, doesn't mean that the syntax shouldn't allow for it.   Why would it make things that I obviously want underlined italic?  I don't want it guessing what would be better than underline.

     

    The point is that Markdown is designed to make good writing simple, and bad writing possilbe.  That's why it allows HTML.  You can always just stick a <u> tag in there.  As for what you "obviously want underlined" and it "guessing what would be better," um... excuse me?  It's spelled out pretty plainly in the syntax.  There's no real reason to be surprised.

    What are all of you people using underlined text for anyway?  I seriously can't remember the last time I used underlined text outside of a hyperlink.



  • Oh I'm sorry.  I didn't read the syntax before trying to underline and using the normal underline syntax...   What's wrong with this software.  It makes good writing easy, and bad writing easy.  What's the problem? 



  • @tster said:

    Oh I'm sorry.  I didn't read the syntax before trying to underline and using the normal underline syntax...   What's wrong with this software.  It makes good writing easy, and bad writing easy.  What's the problem? 

    You say "the normal underline syntax" as if it's some sort of IEEE standard. The only really mainstream lightweight markup languages I've seen (Markdown and Textile) use underscores for emphasis. The questions still stands, though, what are underlines used for besides as an outdated relic of the typewriter era indicating text that should be [i]italic[/i]!?

    If you are thinking underlines should be used for emphasis on the web, you're wrong. Links are underlined, italic and bold are [i]not[/i] in short supply, and so they should always preferred over underlining for emphasis. No style guide will recommend otherwise. I'd be open to seeing a good source that proves me wrong, however.



  • You don't get it.  I don't care what is considered good.  I just hate tools that make it unneccisarily hard to do things just because the person that made the tool thinks he is smarter than me.  The problem I have here is that you are about the 100th person to suggest an upgrade to the forum, yet the forum works fine for most people, so I don't see why we should change.



  • @tster said:

    ... I don't care what is considered good. ...

    I see. That explains it.



  • @djork said:

    @tster said:

    ... I don't care what is considered good. ...

    I see. That explains it.

     

    That sentence must be parsed in conjunction with the next one. Plz do not quote out of context. 

    @Lingerance said:

    @djork said:
    What would underlining be used for nowadays?
    A book title?
     

    If any of you underline anything except links I will SLAP you.



  • @dhromed said:

    @djork said:

    @tster said:

    ... I don't care what is considered good. ...

    I see. That explains it.

     

    That sentence must be parsed in conjunction with the next one. Plz do not quote out of context.

     

    Well, I didn't really want to comment on the other sentence, but let's give it a try ...

    @tster said:

    I don't care what is considered good.  I just hate tools that make it unneccisarily hard to do things just because the person that made the tool thinks he is smarter than me.

     

    I would guess John Gruber doesn't just think he is smarter than you, he probably is smarter than you (and me).  The tool doesn't provide any special provision to underline text because there is no reason to underline text for the web (aside from links).  However, it does allow and preserve HTML tags for just such an occasion.

    I don't see a provision to make 120pt pink blinking cursive text in this WYSIWYG editor!  WHERE IS IT!?  God I hate tools that make it unneccisarily hard to do things just because the person that made the tool thinks he is smarter than me.  The person who made this WYSIWYG editor must be some kind of an elitist a-hole, because I want 120pt pink blinking cursive text.



  • @djork said:

    I think that people can recognize that Alex is free to choose whatever he wants for his own forum and that other systems may be better writing tools for techies.  Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive.  All I'm asking is for people to think about the alternatives.

    What kind of community discourages people to think and voice an opinion? 

     

    Nobody's discouraging you offering an opinion. But repeating the same conversation after it's been beaten to death a thousand times is idiotic. Mindless repetition isn't offering an opinion; it's a monotonous drone.

    Speaking of opinions: in my opinion, SpectateSwamp and UndergroundRodent should all change their user names to start with 'bzzt!'. You know, the sound of a wrong answer? Then we could ask Alex to color-code posts starting with those characters to make them easier to ignore. Just a thought, and as on-topic as the discussion of the propriety of underlining text. ;-).



  • @dhromed said:

    If any of you underline anything except links I will SLAP you.

    There, fixed that for you.



  • @djork said:

    I would guess John Gruber doesn't just think he is smarter than you, he probably is smarter than you (and me). 

    I'm sorry.  Is this a fact or are you just typing random thoughts?  Honestly, please don't bother to post unless you are going to offer some kind of actual argument instead of this trash.  

    1. You have no idea what he thinks about his intelligence
    2. You have no idea how smart he is
    3. You have no idea how smart I am
    4. Even if he is smarter than me, he didn't make the tool for me.  That would be assuming that he is smarter than every person that will ever use his tool.  (see: http://www.paulgraham.com/langdes.html)

    @djork said:

    I don't see a provision to make 120pt pink blinking cursive text in this WYSIWYG editor!  WHERE IS IT!?

    The editor allows for common things, not anything and everything.  And as much as you might hate it, people want underlined text more than they want blinking text.  Hell, it even has strikethrough event though strikethrough should never in any situation be used in proper writing.  However, it is used on this forum.  You know why?   Because this is informal writing and people use what conveys their thoughts the best and what they like the best.  Probably the reason that there is no blink text and size changing buttons is because blinking is rare, and large size fonts make for a disjoint reading experience as you read down the forum.  While hardly anyone would underline their whole post, lots of people would probably change their font size.


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